Bill Gates on Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century:
I agree that taxation should shift away from taxing labor. It doesn’t make any sense that labor in the United States is taxed so heavily relative to capital. It will make even less sense in the coming years, as robots and other forms of automation come to perform more and more of the skills that human laborers do today.
I wonder what it would take to change the way our tax system works. It appears that half of the political establishment refuses to open it up for discussion except when it comes to raising it for those in the lower brackets.
Keeping track of time, doing this kind of personal accounting, gives things context; it marks the passing of time not unlike the demarcation school enforced, where time was punctuated by semesters and summer breaks. When you mark time in chunks, you can name it — “it’s fall,” “I’m in my 40s,” we’re in the “aughts.” Shared vocabulary has value because then there can be conversation. Being aware of time allows for both an objectivity and a shared experience that weren’t there before.
What you actively spend time on, and (far more difficult) what you choose not to do, who you choose not to spend time with, and who and what you decide to say no to — what you choose, then — is how you mark time. And that is all there is.
Fascinating profile of Michael Larson, the head of Cascade Investment LLC — aka, the secretive fund that invests most of Bill Gates’ wealth. A couple fun tidbits from Anupreeta Das & Craig Karmin’s reporting:
The firm owns at least 100,000 acres of farmland in California, Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana and other states—or an area seven times bigger than Manhattan.
Cascade employees are expected to be frugal. Even though Mr. Gates owns nearly half of the Four Seasons Holding Inc. luxury-hotel chain through Cascade, the investment firm’s executives stay at less-expensive hotels, even when traveling on Four Seasons business.
They also own the Charles Hotel in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the Ritz-Carlton in San Francisco, and a 490-acre ranch in Wyoming once owned by William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody.
(Long story short: The FCC is about to make a critical decision as to whether or not internet service providers have to treat all traffic equally. If they choose wrong, then the internet where anyone could start a website for any reason at all, the internet that’s been so momentous, funny, weird, and surprising—that internet could cease to exist. Here’s your chance to preserve a beautiful thing.)